Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and RAK Ports signed a memorandum of understanding to boost cruise tourism in Ras Al Khaimah.
Under the agreement, both parties will work on several maritime projects to develop cruise tourism in Ras Al Khaimah. RAK Ports will care for the transportation infrastructure and RAKTDA will design visitor itineraries to attract leisure cruise passengers.
Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, said: “As part of our Destination 2025 tourism strategy to attract 3 million visitors to Ras al Khaimah by the end of 2025, we identified the cruise segment as a key part of the strategy, and ever since we’ve been working on developing the infrastructure to promote our cruise tourism proposition. Through this partnership with RAK Ports, we aim to attract boutique cruise vessels to RAK Port in 2018, opening up a unique proposition for cruise passengers."
To successfully develop cruise tourism in Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Ports will install innovative ferry, abra and water bus passenger platforms. RAK Ports will also start water bus service from RAK Creek to Al Hamra, Al Marjan Island and Mina Al Arab. It is also planned to create a marine licensing authority for leisure dhows, water buses and abras.
Clifford William Brand, CEO of RAK Ports, said: "We have completed the development of the city’s first boutique cruise vessel passenger terminal, which will be able to accommodate multiple cruise ships docking simultaneously, and have installed new security measures such as facial recognition CCTV, luggage and personal baggage X-ray machines to ensure that passenger receive an impeccable service and enjoy a hassle-free experience.”
The partnership between RAKTDA and RAK Ports will also involve joint marketing efforts to promote Ras Al Khaimah as a leisure cruise destination and to attract boutique cruise ship operators from across the world.